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The common theme is focus

Posted at — Aug 4, 2022 by Abishek Muthian

Meditation, Mindfulness, Flow etc. The common theme seems to be 'Focus'.

Focus is a key component for mental health, Yet it has been made very expensive thanks to constant assault on our senses by the corporations who would then sell their 'Mindfulness' app back to us.

Chat apps with those check marks induces anxiety to reply faster without processing, Short form video apps by definition put a hard limit on our attention span to 30 seconds through abundance of choice using infinite scrolling.

Those are just few things from the daily lifestyle of an average Internet citizen, Sadly including kids.

Focus seems to have become a luxury for 'normal'(in air quotes) people in just past decade or two but it has always been the case for those with common mental illness like say ADHD.

I believe that lack of focus can lead to anxiety.

Previously I discussed about how asking for evidence could help with OCD/anxiety, With same disclaimers, This time I like to talk about managing focus to limit anxiety.

Disclaimer: I'm not qualified to advise on mental health issues, If you think you have OCD, anxiety or other issues then seek the help of a qualified medical professional. Like physical health, Everyone needs help with mental health at some point.

The standard non-intrusive techniques regarding improving focus like Meditation, Mindfulness etc. doesn't seem to account for the fact that people's ability to focus could vary with each individual.

Very few with 30 seconds attention span might put the necessary grind to improve their focus with those techniques, Majority would get disappointed within couple of sessions and then would never come back.

I believe that managing one's own attention span is critical to overcome this barrier for entry.

Do you know your attention span?

Try focusing on the mundane things we do daily and see if you can retain your focus for the entire period of the chore.

See if you can focus for the 5 minutes of the time it takes for you to brush your teeth, By focus I mean no other thoughts except about the action of you brushing your teeth.

See if you can focus for the minute of time it take for you to pee, Notice the color, Quantity;

Nothing but about the action of peeing.

Those are just couple of examples for the mundane activities we do. By applying the strategy to other daily activities we can get an idea about our critical focus span.

Is it 5 mins, 10 mins, 25 mins?

In the process we can learn to limit context switching in our brain (Assuming that external interrupts apps, calls are controlled).

Getting control of our focus (whatever span it might be) and context switching can be crucial to mitigate anxiety which occurs when we drift with our thoughts.

Besides, A hold on our focus can reap us immense productivity benefits.

Use a productivity timer according to your focus span, Take a break at your limit and repeat the process.

I built Butt Mover for me, Specifically for this. You can use what works for you to get your work done within the limits of your focus span.

The key is to realize what's our focus span and trying to improve it gradually with systematic effort.

The difference with traditional techniques and this is that it's accommodating to those with different focus span.

Say a custom-fit solution.


I strive to write low frequency, High quality content on Health, Product Development, Programming, Software Engineering, DIY, Security, Philosophy and other interests. If you would like to receive them in your email inbox then please consider subscribing to my Newsletter.